Summer Road Trip with Pop Pop June 2007

 Dad, Graham, and I

My Dad and I bravely loaded up the car and headed off with Graham for a little road trip at the end of June.  Our first stop was the Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge, VA.   This was a great place!  The first part is a walk through area with lots of animals  to see including a really cool warthog.  Then, you come to a giraffe landing where you can feed the giraffes right out of your hand.  They were beautiful! 


Next, you hop back in the car for a 3 mile safari adventure.  Animals come right up to your window and eat out of a bucket.  There were lots of llamas, deer, zebra, ostriches, emu, and even camel.  We all really enjoyed it.  We drove on a little farther and stayed in Staunton, VA that night. 



The next morning we headed out for Luray, VA to see the Luray Caverns.  We took a little over a mile walk through these magnificent caves.  My favorite part were the reflection pools.  I tried to take pictures, but they did the caverns no justice at all.

 Luray Caverns

  After that, we set out for my cousin, Denise’s house in Delaware.  Denise just had a baby and Graham was especially anxious to meet Baby Gavin!  I had never met Denise’s husband, Rob, before so it was great finally getting the chance to meet him.  He cooked us a scrumptious feast of ribs and corn.   It was delicious.  Graham had a chance to run around in the yard and play with his trucks.  Dad and I had a great time catching up with Denise and Rob and meeting Gavin for the first time.  He was adorable.


The next morning was rainy, but we decided to give Sesame Place a shot anyway in hopes the weather would clear up.  It ended up being a pretty nice day.  But, traveling with a toddler caught up with us and Graham proceeded to have his fussiest day of the trip.  I had read about toddlers not being the best travellers and been told by others and here it was coming true at Sesame Place!  Graham still had a good time overall, but dad and I suffered a bit.  Graham loved the roller coaster best of all and wanted to go right back on it.  It was a fairly scary one too with some big drops and sharp turns.   Graham was able to meet Ernie and saw a neat show with lots of his favorite characters. 


After a much needed rest that night, we left for New Jersey to go to my Aunt Ruth Ann and Uncle Ray’s house.   My Uncle Ken and Cousins Samantha and Emily were able to come too!  It was great to see everyone.  It is so rare that we all get together since we live so far away.  We had another great night catching up.  Graham was a really good boy that night and made up for his fussy day at the park.  


The next day, it was time to head home.  I had to get back in town for my second phone interview for the job I would soon be offered (see below).  On the way back, Graham was phenomenal.  I figured we would have to  stop along the way because Graham would get too cranky, but he was perfect.  He didn’t whine at all and we were in the car for 13 hours!  He was really funny and kept us entertained a lot pointing out all the trucks and asking what everything was.  He is a great car rider!  We arrived home around 10:00 and I slept very soundly that night.  I was exhausted, but satisfied from taking a great trip with my family.


New Beginnings

As many of you know, I have been burnt out on teaching special education for quite a while.  I have been trying to find a position to settle into for some time, but never quite getting there.  It has been a long road and I have wondered if there was something else out there for me.  I think I may have finally found it.  I have been involved in a looong interview process with USC Upstate in their disability services department.  I interviewed for an intial job with the university and did not get it, but was then contacted about this job.  So, I began another string of interviews.  It finally came down to a 3 1/2 hr. interview involving a 20 minute powerpoint presentation.  I was so nervous!  But, the interview group was so friendly, and I felt very comfortable.  They offered me the job today and I am absolutely thrilled.  I will be working with students with disabilities at the university- deciding on accomodations that are appropriate for them, coordinating accomodations, working with peer coaches to support students, and helping to make students successful in graduating from college.  Being able to see students with disabilities who have made it to a 4 year university is going to be fantastic and I am thrilled about the goal of assisting them in completing college!  It is a new beginning and one I have been hoping for and praying about for a long time.  

The Stork has landed and Ellie has arrived!

Melanie, Dave, Abby, and Baby Caleigh received their referral from China on Monday.  I am so excited for them.  I am actually living vicariously through them!!  They were logged in November 9 and China has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered before November 14, 2005.  Ellie is absolutely adorable.  She is 10 months old now and will be close to a year by the time Mel and Dave go to get her which should be in September.  We are all thrilled.